Taught course

Early Childhood Education

University of Sheffield · Department of Education Studies

Entry requirements

Normally at least a 2:1 honours degree. Relevant experience in the field of early childhood education and care is desirable. If you don't have a 2:1 honours degree, you might be eligible to register for a postgraduate certificate or diploma, and transfer to the masters course once you have completed the coursework in the first year to a satisfactory level. Please speak to the course director if you would like to discuss your qualifications and experience. All students study together, making the transition from certificate/diploma to masters registration seamless.

Months of entry


Course content

This course blends distance learning with face-to-face teaching. It’s open to early childhood professionals anywhere in the world, including early years practitioners, FE and HE lecturers, teachers, nursery nurses, voluntary and independent providers, and inspectors and managers working in areas relevant to early childhood.

Wherever you are in the world, you’ll develop the skills you need to carry out high-quality educational research relevant to your own culture. Those skills include a clearer understanding of the policies, practice and theories that underpin your work.

You’ll discuss international approaches and educational change with leading experts.

Core modules

  • Critical Perspectives on Early Childhood Education
  • Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Education
  • Research Methods in Early Childhood Education
  • Leadership and Professional Knowledge
  • Dissertation


You'll study mostly at home, staying in contact with your tutor by telephone and email. You must attend three residential weekends in Sheffield during the two years of the course.


Each module is normally assessed through 30-credit assignments, amounting to 90 credits each year. A final 13–17,000-word dissertation represents one-third of the MA (60 credits out of 180). On completion, you'll have the opportunity to apply for doctoral study on our Early Childhood Education EdD.

Course duration

2-3 years part-time distance learning

Information for international students

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
24-36 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
+44 (0)114 222 8177